Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

4 things you need to know about conditioning leather boots

Leather boots are no longer for cowboys. A quality leather boot is something anyone, of any style, can have in their wardrobe. A classic leather boot can dress up an outfit or complete a more casual look. Getting a real, genuine leather pair is key to having them last through fads coming and going.

Taking care of your leather boots is vital to them lasting for years. If you invest in a pair, it’s just that, an investment. You will need to keep up with the maintenance on them like any other higher-end purchase. But if you treat your boots right, they will take care of your feet for years.

Image used with permission by copyright holder
martin adams

Perks of leather boots

Before we get into the care of your leather boots, we want to point out some quick pros of getting a pair. If you are reading this and are on the fence if you should pull the trigger, look at why you should:

  • Cleaning is simple
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Pleasant smell
  • Long-lasting
  • Comfort
  • Goes with any style

These are only some, and there are plenty more we won’t have time to get into. The main reason you should get a pair is that you won’t have to keep buying a new pair every few months, or even years. As you keep wearing them and breaking them in, they will mold to your feet perfectly. This will also be better for your back and feet because they will be more comfortable.

To clean them all you need to do is wipe them with a cloth. That’s it. Leather is a natural material, so you are not adding to chemical usage that synthetic shoes do. The smell is pretty awesome, too.

Treating your leather boots

Okay, so you know why you should buy them, but how do you take care of them? Here are the four things you need to know about conditioning leather boots:

  • Condition your boots every three to six months, depending on wear

How often and in what conditions you wear them will determine how to condition your leather boots. If you are really hard on your boots and wear them every single day, you might have to follow a one to three-month schedule.

The most important thing to look for to know when to condition them is the way they look. Are they looking dry? Then condition your boots. Conditioning isn’t waxing or waterproofing.

The way you want your leather boots to age (or not age) will help determine how often, as well. People who want a rugged, worn-in look will go a little longer in between conditioning times. If you want a very polished and like-new look, condition more often.

Image used with permission by copyright holder
  • Clean your boots before you condition them

Would you polish your car before washing it? No. Would you dry your dishes before washing them? No. You get the idea. Take the laces out and give your boots a good bath. You should ideally wipe down your leather boots after every single wear. Yes, every single wear. You can give them a proper sponge bath once a week or once a month if you don’t wear them as often.

  • If you don’t have boot conditioner, you probably have something safe around the house

Name brand boot conditioners like Huberd’s Original Shoe Grease or Obenauf’s Leather Unisex Heavy Duty Preservation is an obvious go-to. Don’t want to buy the fancy boot-conditioning stuff? That’s fine. Go around your house, and you could more than likely find household products that are safe and natural for your boots. Check your cabinets for things like Vaseline , beeswax , and your own hair conditioner. Remember that oils like olive oil may be used, but they can also darken the color of the leather. If that’s something you don’t mind or are looking for, then go ahead and grab the coconut oil.

  • Never dry your boots with heat, let them dry normally

This is important. You didn’t do all of that work of cleaning your boots and then conditioning them to ruin it all by taking a hair dryer to your leather boots. You will only dry them right back out. Instead, let them sit at room temperature on a cloth. If you need them to dry faster, crumple up some paper and stuff your boots with it, changing it out whenever it is damp.

It’s best to condition your boots when you know you’ll have some time set aside. At the end of the night so they can dry overnight would be best, as it can take hours for them to dry naturally.

So please, take care of your leather boots. They can stay with you through the years if you treat them properly. Whether for fashion or function, make an investment in a pair of real leather boots to show your feet how much you care about them. Happy walking!

Editors' Recommendations

Dannielle Beardsley
Dannielle has written for various websites, online magazines, and blogs. She loves everything celebrity and her favorite…
An Apple Watch may be your daily driver, but you need a second (better) watch, too
These are the watches to turn to when your Apple Watch just won't cut it for the look
Apple Watch Series 6 worn by distinguished professional in suit.

While watch functions have slowly expanded since the advent of the wristwatch in the early 1900s, there have been serious advances since brands started developing the smartwatch. Especially the Apple Watch. Gone are the days when a watch simply tells the phases of the moon and the date; now, it can tell your heart rate and blood pressure, and it can even track your sleep.

Sometimes, though, simplicity is in order. While smartwatches are a valuable tool to keep you healthy and in control, they are less about style and more about function. There are nice watches for men to wear when they need to elevate their outfits and accessories. Here are the best kinds of watches to replace your Apple smartwatch with for more stylish looks.

Read more
Unless offers green, Earth-loving shoes, but you better size up
Look good while doing good for Planet Earth
Man in Unless Plant Based Shoes

It's good to be a degenerate, or at least that's the concept that the Unless Collective is here to convince us to adopt. We wear a lot of sneakers; eBay did a study last year that found that men own, on average, about seven pairs of sneakers. With 162.4 million men in the United States alone, that means there are roughly 1.14 billion sneakers floating around at any given time. And with sneakers being a $74 billion industry every year, one can imagine that sneakers get tossed out on a regular basis, filling up landfills by the ton.

Of course, the environment has her protectors, and Unless has set out to be one of them with The Degenerate, a completely plant-based option for eco-friendly shoes. They're an excellent option for sustainable fashion, but do they hold up once they're on your feet? We grabbed a pair to find out.

Read more
The secret message your tie color says about you
Learn the language of ties and use the color to send the right message
Assorted neckties

There's a lot to take into account when you're getting ready for the office, the job interview, the evening event, or your wedding. What is the right suit? What shoes go with that suit? How should your hair look? Should you shave or rock the beard? And, of course, what ties go with which moment?

Not to add to it, but neckties are more than just an afterthought for the outfit. What tie color you wear actually sends a message to all of those around you. A red tie psychologically impacts those you interact with; a brown tie sends an entirely different message. Not to worry, we broke it down so you can easily choose which tie you should go with when you have a specific outcome you're looking to achieve.
Red ties
Just like there is a four-legged stool for the four tailored items every man should have in their closet, there are a handful of ties every man should own as well. A red tie is at the top of the list. They call it a power tie because that's what it does. It evokes strength, passion, and dominance.

Read more